January 31 – U.S. Congress approves the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
- Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
- Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation
The amendment is then submitted to the states to be ratified.
February 3 – President Lincoln meets with Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at Hampton Roads in Virginia, in an effort to make peace, but alas, the meeting is a failure, and the war continues. The only remaining military opposition faced by the 280,000 man strong Northern forces are General Lee’s army at Petersburg, and Joseph E. Johnston’s troops in North Carolina.
March 4 – Inauguration ceremonies for President Lincoln take place in Washington. The President delivers his second inaugural address, calling for an end to the war.
March 25 – Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia attacks Grant’s forces at Petersburg. The attack fails in a matter of hours.
April 2 – General Grant’s forces plow through Lee’s lines at Petersburg. Confederate General Ambrose P. Hill is killed, and Lee evacuates Petersburg, unable to fend off the might of the Northern forces. Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate Capital, is evacuated.
April 3 – Union troops enter Richmond and raise the Stars and Stripes.
April 4 – President Lincoln tours Richmond, after entering the Confederate White House, he sits at Jefferson Davis’ desk.
April 9 – General Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
April 10 – Washington celebrates its victory.
April 14 – The Stars and Stripes is raised over Fort Sumter. During the evening of the same day, President Lincoln is shot in the by John Wilkes Booth as he and his wife are attending a play at Ford’s theater. Booth jumps over the wall of the theater, catching his foot on the bunting decorating the front of the presidential box, he then crashes on the stage and breaks his leg; he manages to stumble out the back of the stage and make his escape on horseback.
April 15 – At 7:22 am, as doctors struggle to save him, President Abraham Lincoln dies. He is immediately replaced by Vice President Andrew Johnson.
April 18 – Following General Lee’s lead, General Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his Confederate Army to General William Sherman near Durham, North Carolina.
April 26 – John Wilkes Booth is shot by detectives while hiding out in a tobacco barn in Virginia, hours later, he dies from his wounds.
May 4 – Abraham Lincoln is laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery, near Springfield, Illinois. In the days that follow, the remaining Confederate Rebels surrender.
The Civil War cost over half a million American lives, in addition to dying in battle, many succumbed to disease and starvation, with many of the “lucky” ones who survived the conflict returning home as amputees.